As we count down to the 62nd annual Grammy award ceremony, that is scheduled to hold on the 26th of January 2020 at the Staples center in Los Angeles, we here at afrobeats360 thought it wise to provide a reminder by listing Afrobeats nominees and winners since the inception of this award ceremony that recognizes the best recordings, compositions and artists from different genres and categories of music of a particular year in view. So here you go:
1.king Sunny Adé
First on our list is the king of jùjú music. King Sunny Ade and his African beats.The jùjú king and his band got a Grammy award nomination in the year 1984 under the ‘best ethnic or traditional folk recording’ category, for his work ‘Syncro System’. Which was the second of King Sunny Adé’s three releases for Island Records, following on the tails of 1982’s Jùjú. The album peaked at #91 on Billboard’s “Pop Albums” chart but was not as critically well-received as the first. The album was re-released in 1990 under the variant spelling Synchro System.
In 1999, the jùjú king got another Grammy award nomination in the 'Best World Music Album' category with his work titled Odu. It was released in 1998 on Mesa/Atlantic.Odù means oracle in the Yoruba divination systems of Ifá.
- Michael Babatunde Olatunji Not until the 40th Annual Grammy Awards which were held on February 25, 1998, at Radio City Music Hall, New York City did another Nigerian artist by name Babatunde Olatunji rekindled the hopes of bringing a Grammy award to the shores of Nigeria. Babatunde Olatunji was part of Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum projects, including the album ‘Planet Drum’, which won the Grammy Award for Best World Music Album the first year for which the award was given. Olatunji was nominated under this same category in 1999, for his work “Love Drum Talk”.Michael Babatunde Olatunji was born April 7, 1927 and died on April 6, 2003. He was a Nigerian drummer, educator, social activist, and recording artist.
- Femi Kuti
Olufela Olufemi Anikulapo Kuti , popularly known as Femi Kuti,is the next man on our list. He is a Nigerian musician born in London and raised in Lagos. He is the eldest son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti and a grandchild of political campaigner, women’s rights activist and traditional aristocrat Funmilayo Ransome Kuti. In 2003, Femi Kuti got his first nomination in the “Best World Music Album” category with the album “Fight to Win”. He was nominated again in 2010 and in 2012 in the “Best Contemporary World Music Album” category for the albums titled “Day by day” and “Africa for Africa” respectively.
His most recent nomination was in 2014 in the “Best World Music Album”category with the album titled ‘No place for my dream’. With all these different nominations and not a single one won, is there really a place for Femi’s dream of winning the Grammy? Well he still has the highest nominations for Nigeria.
- Seun Kuti
So not only is the eldest son of the great and famous afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti among the few Nigerian artists on this list, his youngest son Oluseun Anikulapo Kuti is also one of them. commonly known as Seun Kuti, he is a Nigerian musician and singer. Seun leads his father’s former band Egypt 80 and was nominated in 2018 in the “Best World Music Album” category for his work ‘Black Times’.
- Sikiru Adepoju
Sikiru Adepoju is a percussionist and recording artist from Nigeria, primarily in the genres of traditional African music and world music. He plays a variety of instruments and styles. Here comes the interesting part,he is the only Nigerain that didn’t just get a nomination, but has won a Grammy and he doesn’t sing. Yeah you read that right. This award of his, is as a result of his minor contribution to the “Global Drum Project”. An album by Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, yours truly Sikiru Adepoju, and Giovanni Hidalgo. It was released by Shout! Factory on October 2, 2007 and won in the 2009 “Best contemporary World Music” category.
A big congratulations to you Sikiru Adepoju. We the members of “Hoping a Nigerian Finally Wins a Grammy Association” are super proud of you. Kudos.
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Since it is possible for you to win a Grammy award without actual singing, the next person on our list is also not a singer but like it or not, she has a Grammy nomination to her name. What most of us know her as, is a Nigerian writer whose works range from novels to short stories to nonfiction. She is the delectable Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Surprised? “yeah yeah” “I know right”. She has a Grammy nomination for her minor contribution to the album Beyoncé (often stylized in all caps)by Beyoncé.The record was released on December 13, 2013, by Parkwood Entertainment and Columbia Records. The subject material of the album, includes feminist themes of sex, and you know that Chimamanda and the term feminism have the same address. So ‘Queen B’ had to consult her.The album Beyoncé was nominated in the “Album of the year” category in 2015.
Most of us don’t know that the ‘Egberi papa one of Bayelsa’ AKA ‘papichulo’ better known as Timaya has a Grammy nomination. Baba didn’t even loud it self. Nawa o! Well now we do. Timaya has a nomination for his minor contribution to the album ‘Avrekadabra’ by the Jamaican reggae band ‘Morgan Heritage’.This album was in the “Best Reggae Album” category in the year 2018.
Faridah Seriki known professionally as Kah-Lo is a Nigerian singer-songwriter known for her work on ‘Rinse and Repeat’ by British DJ, Riton. And that’s why she is on this list. ‘Rinse and Repeat’ went on to be nominated for Best Dance Recording at the 59th Grammy Awards in 2017.
- Wizkid Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun better known as Wizkid AKA starboy,Daddy yo…. I can go on and on but I will leave that for members of Wizkid Fc. In 2016, Wizkid achieved international recognition following his collaboration with Drake on the global hit, “One Dance”, which reached number one in 15 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. “One Dance” got nominated in the “Album of the Year” category in 2017 and we the members of “Hoping a Nigerian Finally Wins a Grammy Association” in conjunction with “Wizkdfc” were very hopeful that we were going to win this one but unfortunately like the others it was just another nomination. Still we move.
Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, known professionally as Burna Boy and now likes to be called African giant, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter.He rose to prominence in 2012 after releasing “Like to Party”, the lead single from his debut studio album L.I.F.E in 2013. His first Grammy nomination was for his minor contribution to an album called Mania (stylized as M A N I A) by American rock band Fall Out Boy, released on January 19, 2018, on Island Records and DCD2. He is being nominated again this time not for a minor contribution, but for a huge personal job well done on his fourth studio album titled African Giant. It was released on July 26, 2019, by Spaceship Entertainment, Bad Habit, Atlantic Records and Warner Music.
The African giant album is in the “Best world music album” category for the soon to be held Grammy awards that is a few days away.
We here at afrobeats360 are lending our hopes to the members of “Hoping a Nigerian Finally Wins a Grammy Association” as we hope that Burnaboy brings it home.